The corporate sell-outs, the abandonment of core Democratic principles, the willingness to prop up the insurance industry – no, none of that weakened Obama’s presidency:
Last week alone, Mr. Obama called or met with 64 lawmakers. He scored the vote of one reluctant Democrat, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio, after an Air Force One ride from Cleveland.
On Saturday he went to Capitol Hill to make a last-minute appeal to House Democrats, telling them: “We’re a day away. After a year of debate, after every argument has been made, by just about everybody, we’re 24 hours away.”
In his private sessions with lawmakers, the president has drawn the consequences for himself in the starkest terms. In a meeting with members of the House Progressive Caucus, who are angry that the bill lacks a government-backed insurance plan, the president warned that his other priorities — jobs and immigration — would be tougher to achieve if the health bill does not pass. There was silence, Mr. Grijalva said, when Mr. Obama laid out the risks.
“If we fail at this,” Mr. Grijalva recalled Mr. Obama saying, “it’s going to be harder for us to pull the line on this other stuff. It is going to weaken our presidency.”